Rioters Set Fire to Home With Child Inside, Block Firefighters From Reaching A protester gestures in front of a fire during a demonstration against the death in Minneapolis police custody of African-American man George Floyd, in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 30, 2020. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)
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Rioters set fire to a multi-family residence in Virginia Sunday night while people, including a child, were inside the home, Richmond Police Chief Will Smith said at a press conference.
“Protesters intentionally set a fire to an occupied building on Broad Street,” Smith said Sunday in an emotional speech. “This is not the only occupied building that has been set fire to in the last two days.”
Protesters prevented fire crews, who alerted the Richmond Police Department, from reaching the sceneProtesters intercepted that fire apparatus several blocks away with vehicles and blocked that fire department’s access to the structure fire,” Smith said. “Inside that home was a child,” he said, holding back tears as he detailed what happenedOfficials were able to help the people and the child safely exit the burning home after the fire crew and police managed to breach the protesters and clear the path, he continued.that nightThey prohibited us from getting on scene,” Smith said. “We had to force our way to make a clear path for the fire department.Smith and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney denounced the violent actions of some rioters, who they say were using the George Floyd protests to cause violence and destruction.
“When you take a legitimate issue and hijack it for unknown reasons, that is unacceptable to me, it’s unacceptable to the Richmond Police Department, unacceptable to the city of Richmond,” Smith said.
“The past two nights I’ve been disappointed—peaceful protest was hijacked by people who do not care about our city